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'American Idol': Winner's Album to be Released in Summer

According to sources, the season 12 victor could have a debut out by July.

Kree Harrison Candice Glover finale split L
Ray Mickshaw / FOX

Unlike previous years of American Idol, the season 12 winner will have an album out sooner rather than later.

According to Idol insiders, the victor's debut release will hit retailers this summer, as opposed to the fall or early winter. "The hope is July," says a source, adding, "around the middle of the [summer] tour would be ideal."

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Helping speed up the process, the finalists -- including finale contenders Kree Harrison and Candice Glover -- have been working on original songs while simultaneously recording their cover songs for iTunes.

In the past, Idol winners and runners-up have typically released full-lengths in the fall or early winter to take advantage of Thanksgiving's Black Friday and the holiday shopping season. Some, however, have gone much longer -- like season 11's Jessica Sanchez, whose You, Me & the Music was released this month, almost a year after she came in second.

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The thought among label execs is that the longer fans of the show have to wait for an official album, the greater the risk that said finalist will lose a substantial chunk of his or her audience.

To that end, a new single by season 12's third placer Angie Miller, called "You Set Me Free," will be available on iTunes immediately after the May 16 finale. Harrison and Glover's songs, "All Cried Out" and "I Am Beautiful," are also expected to hit retailers within hours.

Twitter: @Idol_Worship